Good news for the US retail business. Sales rose in August and consumer sentiment hit a 14 month high in September, according to data that was just released by the Commerce Department. They reported that retail sales, which account for a third of consumer spending, increased .6 percent last month. The only decline that they saw was at the gas pump, but this is more a reflection of declining gas prices which should actually help the economy.
Core retail sales increased .4% in August. This excludes the purchase of cars, gas, building materials and food and corresponds most closely with gross domestic product spending.
Showing similar findings, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 84.6 in early September. This is the highest reading since July of 2013.